“Out of the Transylvania Night” has a complex structure, interlacing the cultural, social, mystical, economical, and, of course, last but not least, the never-ending love story. It represents the pursue of happiness and the achievement of the American Dream, the ups and downs of a fast-paced life in the city that never sleeps - Los Angeles. It deploys the coming together and the falling apart scenes of a family of immigrants who lost the vision, love, and care in the process of blending in and keeping up with the Joneses. A story of a Transylvanian Cinderella, it is also a portrayal of life's dreams and resolutions in the New World, premonitions and déjà-vu, Transylvania’s existence and categorical life’s imperatives. As love furtively sneaks out when you least expect it, it also creeps in at the right time on the wings of hope. The memoir summarizes human’s desires in an ever-changing world, more demanding and strenuously competitive, where money and material possessions would, for a while, dominate Aura’s existence, only to dissipate as dreams vanish at the crack of dawn, into a more rooted and logically supported existence plagued by ethics, intelligence, charisma, and sensibility.
Aura Imbarus, the author, a mixed ethnical Transylvanian blood with Greek origins, grew up in Sibiu, the 2007 Cultural Capital of Europe, in a family who had Amazonian rules imposed by her Buni, a strong Hungarian woman; pampered by her Rica, her amazing mother, and fully supported by her Dad, a strong anti-Communist dissident during Ceausescu’s regime, she grew on the reliance that SELF is the one that will blow the winds beneath her wings. A rebel in the way she dressed in her own fashion creations since the age of fourteen and colored her hair, from black to red, from green to pink, she excelled in school. Earning her own living since the age of fourteen by tutoring smaller kids in foreign languages and translating movies, she ended working for her alma mater Lucian Blaga, as an assistant professor while being part of the Romania media.
Her memoir is beautifully describing the love and care, respect and ethics she received in the bosom of her family and her German relatives amid a country that starved physically and emotionally, sucked by Dracula’s reincarnation, Nicole Ceausescu. The voyage starts in Sibiu, on an early December day when the Romanian Revolution of 1989 will ignite and its first part ends with Aura being free enjoying the freedom she always dreamt of. Her family heritage and its rollercoaster moves unfold, while the big poet Octavian Goga and the well-known historian Nicolae Iorga are mentioning her ancestors.
The second part of the book depicts a young woman in action, toiling from morning until night for Lucian Blaga University, for Lexis, a private foreign languages school, Radio Contact and The Sibiu Journal, while tutoring on Saturday. The wheels of destiny have been set in motion, and unknowingly she prepares for the American Dream, for the multitasking that United States is so known about. A winner of the Green Card lottery of Diversity Visa 1997, she leaves her country and parents behind, embarking on the trip of her life.
And so the last part begins with the “starting over” movement in a tiny, white room, dark and shady, with 400 dollars left into a bank account until one of them, Aura or her newly wed husband, Michael, will find a job. The glitz and glamour of America dissipated itself and the rough path, the cruel, striking image of making it in the New Land is haunting them. From none to some, and, later on to more, their journey is the one many immigrants face, while Fata Morgana is luring them into the abyss of dreams and illusions.
Many life tsunamis will hit Aura, but her inner spirit could not be broken. The strong child turned out to be a warrior, a woman of character, and integrity.
“Out of the Transylvania Night” a deftly woven narrative about Aura’s experience of growing up inside Communist Romania, fleeing to the US in search of the America dream, and discovering that freedom—in both free and closed societies—is an innovation of self and can be found on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The memoir is an epic tale of identity, love, and the indomitable human spirit.